on February 18, 2012
This toy, produced by the "4M" company in China, is supposedly recommended by the "Parents' Choice Foundation". From their website "The Parents' Choice Recommended Seal indicates that our committees found the product distinguished enough to give it a notch above our "Approval" rating. In other words, this commendation implies our approval and, even beyond that, our thorough recommendation for reasons of production, appeal and fulfillment of its clear intent". Clearly they have not properly researched this toy when awarding such a recommendation.
The manually driven spinning disk containing three magnets does not generate sufficient electricity current to make the led light on the tower work. Occasionally you get a glimmer of a spark, but it is just poorly designed.
As such, it does more harm than good : you try to excite kids about a scientific experiment and then have to disappoint them. Hardly motivating ! DO NOT BUY.
I've bought mine in a Teacher's shop in the US. Had I read the Amazon reviews above, I would have saved myself $14 + tax or bought something more useful.
on December 23, 2014
This is a nice project to show alternative ways of using electricity. It actually works well. If this can only be used on greater applications, it would make for much cheaper and effective way of using energy. It was a little confusing to put together at first, but as long as the instructions are followed thoroughly there should not be any problems. I made the mistake of loosening the tape around the coil of copper wire which I originally thought was just for packaging purposes until I read through the instructions a second time and found that the tape needs to stay on the coil so that the coil does not unwind. I only wish there was a way to keep the spinning top spinning so that the light stays on and then make it stop when you want the light turned off. Otherwise, it is definitely a nice project that demonstrates how magnetism is used to generate electricity without batteries or having to plug a cord and I would recommend it to a friend.